Saturday, January 14, 2012

Will More People Read Books Because of E-Books? Publishers Not So Optimistic

Posted by on 1/12/12 

The book reader of the future.
By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

As more people buy e-readers and tablet computer sales continue to grow, will more people read books than did before? Will people who read books already read more of them?
Publishers are less optimistic in 2011 that the shift to digital will mean more people reading more books than they were in 2010, according to a Digital Book World survey conducted by Forrester Research, Inc.
In late 2011, book publishers representing 74% of U.S. publishing revenues were surveyed on a wide range of topics concerning digital books. The same survey was conducted in 2010.
When asked whether more people will read books than did before, thanks to digital, 47% said yes, down from 66% a year ago. When asked if people will read more books than before, thanks to digital, 60% said yes, down from 66% last year. (Full results from the survey will be presented by Forrester analyst James McQuivey at the upcoming Digital Book World Conference and Expo in New York City.)
The proliferation of new technology likely means more people will read more books in the immediate future, according to book publishing experts and observers.
“In the short run, digital is likely to increase book consumption for two simple reasons: It’s easier to get them and it’s easier to have them with you at any particular time,” said Mike Shatzkin, a long-time book-industry expert (and, full disclosure, partner with Digital Book World on the Digital Book World Conference).
Now, anyone with an e-reader, tablet computer or smartphone and the right software is carrying around the world’s biggest books store, with literally millions of titles at their fingertips. Amazon has said in the past that those who buy their Kindle e-readers increase their reading consumption.
People have become accustomed to filling in smaller and smaller breaks in their day with reading on portable devices, according to David Weinberger, a senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, an Internet research lab. People are not necessarily reading books, however.
“What we’re reading frequently is shorter – and on the Web,” said Weinberger.

Read more at Will More People Read Books Because of E-Books? | Digital Book World

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